When I was first exposed to The Stooges at age 16, I wanted
to go throw out all my Sex Pistols, Clash and Bauhaus
records because I had found the real deal. This sound brought
with it a dirty r & b groove brought on by sweaty Motor City
nights, the jonesing desperation of a junkie, and an attitude
of rebellion against all accepted conventions. It was only later,
after I had absorbed the music into my pores, that I found it
was all created twenty years prior. I wondered then what it felt
like to be there when Iggy and his Detroit disciples The
MC5 accidentally invented Punk Rock. It must have pierced
the summer of love like a needle through flesh. The energy in
this performance captures some of that time period, and makes
up for the lost energy of the blackout that cancelled the original
date for which my brother had tickets. (Insert shoutout.) I had
expected some blood and makeup, but then this ain't Kiss,
the danger is real.
From the thunderous adrenaline rush of "Loose," there
doesn't seem to be much room for advancement. But as the set progresses,
the bar is raised and the gears shift ever higher. "1969"
kicks the energy up a notch, "Dirt" adds yet another
level, then non-stop through "Real Cool Time", the impressive
new song "Skull Ring" and the frenzied jungle version
of "Little Doll." The intensity builds as Iggy invites
the chaotic crowd onstage. He's never courted disaster, he just
fucks it and leaves. Osterberg delivers his usual captivating
freak show, strutting, squirming and generally imitating an irate
orangutan. (Coincidentally, Mike Watt's goofball mugging
and head-shaking is not unlike a silverback gorilla.) Pop's influence
on Lux Interior is made evident when he stuffs the mic
down his already well occupied jeans, and humps the speakers.
The in-be-fucking-tween song banter is fucking weird, as every
fucking other word is "fucking." As in, "I fucking
see every fucking one of you! Fucking bless you! " With odd
swipes made at metaphysical recognizance.
Apparently, of all the people who have been hungering for the
reunited Stooges, Ron Asheton is chief among them. His
blistering licks give the impression he has been playing these
riffs every day since the breakup. Next to Iggy's antics, Asheton
is conspicuously stoic, relying on his guitar for expression.
Brother Scott Asheton is equally emotionless on the drums,
respectably getting down to business with no flashy bullshit.
The Stooges' first two recordings are well represented, but unfortunately,
Raw Power is completely overlooked. I'd have rather heard
"Search And Destroy" or "Gimme Danger" than
the reprise of "I Wanna Be Your Dog." I've only seen
? And The Mysterians pull a cheap stunt like that before.
The extras include an in-store where Scott Asheton proves he
can rock using only a cardboard box. Yet Iggy still acts like
he's performing in a stadium, making him seem out of touch.
2. Down On The Street
4. I Wanna Be Your Dog
5. TV Eye
7. Real Cool Time
8. No Fun
11. Skull Ring
12. Not Right
13. Little Doll
14. I Wanna Be Your Dog (Reprise)
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